Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer hours

After a few days of record-breaking heat, it was a welcome relief today when temperatures stayed under 20 degrees – even though I’d invited a couple of Miya’s little friends (and parents) over for a paddling pool party and bbq.

Tonight there’s a cool breeze blowing through our open windows, carrying with it the music of outdoor concerts that are part of a local street festival. It sounds like summer, but the cool remnants of spring in the air are refreshing.

It must be something about being in a northern climate – as the days grow longer, we want to make the most of them. The long hours of sunlight seem to cry out to be filled with activity. In the dead of winter, when it's dark by the time you get home from work, it seems fitting to want to curl up with a bowl of stew and a good movie. But in the summer, well that is when we should be outside soaking up every last ray of the late-setting sun.

It is always a bit of an adjustment for me when I travel to or live somewhere close to the equator. In Canada, we associate warm days with long days, warm night with nights where the sun still lingers on the horizon late into the evening. But the closer you get to the equator, the more likely the sun is to set at the same time, no matter the season. It feels strange at first to experience hot, humid evenings that have little more sunlight than winter nights.

I remember the first few months of Miya’s life, when sleep was intermittent and broken. I was grateful for the long summer hours of daylight. Getting up at 5 a.m. didn’t seem quite so bad when the sun was already up too.

And this evening, even though the air was too cool for the paddling pool to be much of a success, it was still lovely to sit around with friends outside, eating dinner and playing with our kids. The sun wasn’t even thinking about setting before the party broke up in time to take kiddies in for bed. The long days of summer have begun.

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